Mike Prosceno and Stacey Fish run the SAP blogger outreach program which includes organizing Blogger’s Corner at events like SAPPHIRE. In Berlin and for the first time, several SDN Mentors were included in the program. These were Dick Hirsch, Eddy deClercq, Oliver Kohl, Nigel James, Raja (I can never spell his second name right) and Gergor Wolf.
Apart from being great company it was especially pleasing to see Gregor quizzing Henning Kagermann in the main press conference. Why? Because Gregor asked a question about the UI which Henning said was ‘a great question.’ Others may disagree but in my opinion, the blogger contingent asked the four best questions of the press conference.
Gregor also acted as unofficial translator in a session with Business ByDesign customer WIMA when dealing with detailed questions. Craig Cmehil was running translation point the rest of the time for those of us who don’t speak German as a native or second language (mine are French and Spanish.)
Taking three days out to attend a business event is difficult enough for many people and given the mentors are more technically oriented, I was encouraged by their enthusiasm at everything we did. The conversations were vibrant, incisive and probing, allowing more business focused people like myself to gain fresh insights into how the developer and business world can come together. As we move forward to a time when users want more control over applications and a larger say in selection, this is all to the good.
What was truly fascinating for me was that some press people and others tagged themselves onto Blogger’s Corner from time to time. I guess that says something about ‘our’ ability to draw an audience but I’d like to think it says much more about the value the community brings to the entire SAP ecosystem, however you wish to define it. I’ve no idea how you could measure value from these things and leave that stuff up to those who know about attention. However, I can’t see it being anything other than a win for everyone, including SAP to operate in a more inclusive manner.
It was a priviege to spend time with the mentors, some of whom I’d not met before. Let’s hope we can do it again.
Gregor Wolf’s photostream can be found here on Picasa